ECR rookie Rinus VeeKay said he will apologize to the team after hitting his pit crew during yesterday’s Indianapolis 500.
VeeKay had opened the race strongly and was running inside the top five when he was called in for a stop and braked too late while attempting to enter his pit box.
“Everything was new to me and I didn’t want to take too much risk at the start. But we were running third!” said VeeKay. “The team was doing an amazing job. The second pit stop, I came into the box and just hit the brakes a little too hard. I locked up my inside front and my biggest nightmare happened: I hit the crew guys. They work day and night for me, so I feel terrible. I will make sure to apologize to everyone. I made one mistake, but it was a big one. Pit stops are something I’m not as familiar with yet, but that’s not an excuse.
“We had a great car. It got better and better, and I was able to pass cars on the inside and the outside. I learned a lot, but not fully in a good way. I just want to thank the team for giving me such an amazing car, but I threw the race away.”
VeeKay earned a stop and go penalty for the incident and eventually finished 20th, capping a frustrating day across the entire ECR camp. Conor Daly’s afternoon in the No.47 Air Force entry ended against the inside barrier at Turn 4 , while owner/driver Ed Carpenter’s was derailed from the start when he was bounced against the wall following lap one contact with Zach Veach, sending him back to the garage for lengthy repairs.
“I don’t know that I could have done anything different, it didn’t feel like that aggressive of a move on my part,” Carpenter said. “Evidently, the other driver’s spotter cleared him, which is crazy to me. Is it 2021 yet? 2020 is being a tough year right now. We wanted to do so much more, but that’s racing sometimes.”